Charter School Supply and Demand

Hundreds attended the annual Boston Charter School Fair in January.
Hundreds attended the annual Boston Charter School Fair in January.

A front page story in today’s Boston Globe print edition (“Charter schools overstate demand review shows,” April 8, 2013) gives us an opportunity to explain CCSC’s wait list policy.

1. Our wait list includes only students who have entered one of our 2013-14 lotteries by submitting our standard one-page application form (which asks for demographic information only) and proof of residency, a new state requirement for all charters. Siblings of current CCSC students and Cambridge residents get priority in our lotteries, but the only residency requirement is that the student is a Massachusetts resident at the time of application.

2. We ask (in writing) that all those who are offered seats in the lottery inform us promptly if they choose to attend another school, so that we can give their seat to a student on the wait list. However, if the family neglects to inform us they do not want the seat, we are legally obligated to hold it for them until the first day of school (which is the first day of our mandatory 4-week Summer Academy).

3. We have no way of tracking students who have applied to more than one school, and we assume that many students do so to improve their chances of getting a seat somewhere. A 2010 law requiring a unified tracking provision is not currently implemented by the state.

4. Our wait list does not carry over year to year. Any student who applied in 2012-13 and did not get a seat would have had to submit a new application this year. The same policy will apply next year.

5. Our enrollment is capped at 360 students in grades 7-12, and demand for seats at CCSC has risen over the years, commensurate with our students’ outstanding learning growth. (CCSC was the only school in the state, charter or public, to earn a learning growth rating above 80% in both math and ELA in 2012. Read full story on our 2012 MCAS success.) The majority of those on our wait list are students from outside Cambridge (primarily Boston) going into 9th grade.

Interested in Attending CCSC?

We are still accepting applications for students entering grades 7, 8 or 9 next year.
Our next lottery will be held on May 8. The deadline to apply is May 1 at 4 PM.

Download an application here.

As noted above, proof of Massachusetts residency is required at the time of application (attach a copy of a gas, electric or cable bill or a lease or mortgage statement).

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